The last week I’ve made some great strides in the entries and finishes for arm bars. In particular the finer details with which grip to use in the setup. I was watching an old Rickson Gracie video and I noticed how he was setting up his grips for the arm bar. The other points I noticed was how when finishing the arm bar he would get on his side slightly, always facing towards the opponents head. It didn’t seem to matter about being perfectly perpendicular to the opponent, sometimes it appeared he would even have the arm stretched out past that 90 degree point, more towards the opponents head. I hope that makes sense.
So with these in mind I tried to apply some of the concepts to how I apply arm bars. The most critical part is the grip he achieves. It’s far superior to other grips I’ve seen and tried to use.
- Grab their wrist with the hand nearest their head and get the other hand underneath their armpit and connect into a figure four grip by holding your wrist. Never let your wrists bend backward once you’ve achieved this grip.
- Jump up, around or whatever variation you are currently doing. Aim to get your hip behind their elbow near the shoulder.
- Try to “fall” onto your side slightly. You should be on your hip/butt check nearest their head.
- This angle, with this grip enables you to pry open most grips.
- Don’t be afraid to roll with the person, just don’t let go of the grip.
I’ve got this from a lot of setups over the last couple of days. Which is surprising given I never get arm bars at all! Ever. I’m sure their are issues, but now I’m getting 3-4 arm bars on each person I roll with!
I’m sure I was shown something like this when I first started, but honestly it’s all the little details that this grip delivers that make the big difference. I see people grabbing the grips the wrong way around, or using the forearm up near the bicep instead of the the wrist, or not using leverage by falling slightly away from the opponents strong resistance point.